Monday, August 1, 2016

August 8 is the Deadline to Apply to Add 7 Months to a 17-Month STEM OPT Extension

From USCIS, 08/01/2016

If you currently have a 17-month STEM OPT extension, you may apply to add 7 months to your STEM OPT period. If you want to apply for this 7-month extension, you must properly file your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (with the required fee and signature) on or before August 8, 2016. USCIS will deny applications filed after August 8, 2016.

You may apply to add 7 months to your 17-month STEM OPT period if:

  • You are currently participating in STEM OPT based on a 17-month extension;
  • You request the additional 7-month period by filing a new Form I-765 between May 10, 2016 and August 8, 2016, and within 60 days of the date your designated school official’s enters the recommendation for the 24-month OPT extension into your SEVIS record;
  • You have at least 150 days of valid employment authorization remaining on your 17-month STEM OPT period on the date you properly file your new Form I-765; and
  • You, your designated school official, and your employer meet all the 24-month STEM OPT extension requirements.


For more information on the STEM OPT extension, visit the USCIS Optional Practical Training Extension for STEM Students (STEM OPT) page.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mission India Announces Significant Delays in US Nonimmigrant Visa Processing

From Morgan Lewis, 06/28/2016

The US Department of State recently announced that US consular posts in India are experiencing unusually long wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments. Current wait times for H and L visas are between 75 and 100 days. Current wait times for nonimmigrant visa interview appointments (not including B, F, and J visas) are as follows:

  • Chennai—75 days
  • Hyderabad—93 days
  • Kolkata—96 days
  • Mumbai—88 days
  • New Delhi—100 days

  • These backlogs will likely increase throughout the summer, especially with the enormous increase in student applications that typically occurs in the summer months. The Department of State hopes to add consular positions to alleviate the increase in visa wait times. There are also plans to open a new US consulate in India in the foreseeable future.

  • Requests for expedited processing of visa applications will usually be granted only on a humanitarian basis involving the loss or threatened loss of life. Those required to travel abroad who must obtain a visa stamp in India should consider delaying travel to India until after the backlogs have subsided. Should an Indian national have reason to travel to another jurisdiction, applying outside of India as a Third Country National may be possible, however, Indian nationals are urged to check requirements at consular posts carefully since not every consulate accepts such applications.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

STEM OPT Extension E-forms Now Available!

Attention employees eligible for a STEM OPT Extension: STEM OPT Extension e-forms are now available in iStart

If you have already completed the Intent to Pursue STEM Extension and it has been approved, you may complete the remaining forms. If you've not completed the Intent to Pursue STEM Extension e-form and your current OPT expires in the next 6 months, please begin the e-forms as soon as possible.


If you are a Georgia Tech F-1, these forms are in addition to the forms required by OIE.